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October 12, 2016

My Classmate Is Bumming Me Out

Hey, Bonita

Hey Bonita,

I'm finishing undergrad this year in a really challenging but rewarding field. It's the type of program that requires a lot of collaboration and teamwork from students, and I've made great friends with all of my classmates over the years. However, there's one student that I just can't stand, and I don't think anyone else can, either. She's really opinionated and loud, and she's also one of those people who is always in a bad mood. She literally never smiles, and rarely has anything positive to contribute to conversations. When you ask her what she's doing for the weekend, she'll actually say stuff like, “Oh, I’m gonna go sit in my room alone and cry.”

Please don't think that we ostracize her or treat her poorly for being a spoil-sport. She can actually be pretty chill in a one-on-one setting, and we've hung out plenty outside of class. There's something that happens to her every now and then that puts her in the worst mood, and she inflicts it on the rest of us. It's getting to the point where people don't wanna include her anymore, so I've been hanging out with her on my own some, and sometimes it's just unbearable. I feel like I'm this girl's only friend, and I hate myself for not really liking her that much. She wants to go on a trip into the mountains soon, and I'm puzzled as to why. So she can complain and fume with a beautiful view?

I don't want to abandon her, because I think she needs a friend, but I can't take her sourpuss ways much longer. I wonder if you have any advice for someone who is dealing with a friend they're ready to walk away from. I can't take this anymore!

Sincerely,

At Wit's End

Hey Witty,

Judging by what you've written, I think this woman is dealing with depression or another mood disorder. She wants friends but seems terrible at nurturing relationships, which is all-around awful for both of you. She probably feels like a social failure, while you're dealing with a sourpuss who wants to hang out. The fact that she wears her unhappiness on her sleeve and plainly tells people she's gonna go sob seems like a cry for help, if you ask me. Unfortunately, her miserable ways seem to have turned off the group of people she should probably be reaching out to for support.

What kind of “hanging out” do you and this woman do together? Are you studying over coffee, or binge-watching “Gotham” after class? There's a huge difference as far as comfort and openness, and I think, perhaps, while you've been classmates with this girl, maybe you haven't really made a genuine connection with her. I think you'd be more clued into why she's so bummed out if you called her your friend and had a real conversation with her. Connect with her and find out why she's so unhappy—if you really think of yourself as her friend. If not, stop hanging out with her.


Got dumped, so I'm bitter and angry right now. How do I cope?

I'm so sorry, friend. Being dumped sucks! But don't take it to heart, pal. That person didn't want you, and that's OK. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn't want you? That can only end terribly. Counter your anger with the knowledge that you and this person were not compatible, and that you would've broken up later on if not now.

Perhaps this isn't fair to your ex, but I'd also recommend you remind yourself of all the ways they sucked. Think of their fantasy football addiction, their terrible style, their stinky body, their awful friends, whatever it was about them that you ignored because you cared. Think of the future and all the opportunities you now have with people who actually do want to care about you. Take selfies and pose in the mirror. Go out and flirt, but don't make decisions you'll regret just because you're bitter about an ex. Hang out with friends of your same gender and orientation, and get support from them. Above all, do not reach out to that ex. They dumped you. Forget them.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use our anonymous form or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.

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